I’d like to tell you a quick story about how I received some big time, love me like Jesus, didn’t deserve it, small act of great love kind of grace, but first I need you to know what I’m working with here, so just go with me: I want you to think about the last thing you ate. Maybe a sandwich. Or pizza. Or if you’re really lucky, a chocolate glazed donut with sprinkles! Sorry, I meant a crisp, colorful salad.
Ok, now imagine that you are allergic to that food. Yep, every time you eat it, it comes right back up and you break out in a rash. Inconvenient but not devastating. Now imagine that you are allergic to a list of about 10 things … and some of them are sneaky so it’s easier to just not eat outside your house at all. Also, you’ve just turned three so you’re super rational, understanding, and flexible with your situation…
***We have close friends and family members who face daily medical crises with their kids, so hear me on this – I am fully aware that on the spectrum of actual problems, food allergies are a relatively mild, inconvenient blip. I’d also like to put it out there that parenting is hard and sometimes you just need a drive through in your life.
Here’s the story – at our house, Fridays are for pizza and a movie. Even with all his food allergies, we discovered that our son could have pizza from this one place. Then he couldn’t. So we found a new place (trial and error with this guy is messy). Then he stopped eating that weekly pizza so we needed a new plan. It’s 2018 and I’m a modern kind of gal, so I did what most of us do – I asked the internet: “soy free resterants restaurants” (Is it just me or is ‘restaurant’ just one of those words that’s hard to spell).
There was one local match to my query, and their website has an awesome interactive allergy page that gave me options of what we could eat. I was excited, very excited about this new option. I parked and picked up our youngest from daycare and ran into the downtown restaurant, wondering if I had enough hands to hold a large hot pizza box AND a baby who can walk but not follow directions. I didn’t have to, because one of the workers saw I had my hands full and offered to carry the pizza out for me. I told her I parked by the daycare and she said it wasn’t a problem and graciously insisted. With the block or so to walk, I had the opportunity to share how hard it is for us to eat out, I found their allergy menu so helpful, and how exciting this was for our family. She told me they sold the pizza dough so we could make them at home anytime and that in the future they would be happy to bring it out to me when I arrive. When the baby and the pizza were safely in the car, I drove home with tears in my eyes.
It might sound small, but it didn’t feel small. It felt like kindness way beyond what I deserved. It was grace – to go.